PS 2.0 Draft 2

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patfeeney
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PS 2.0 Draft 2

Postby patfeeney » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:25 pm

This isn't a diversity statement or "Overcoming Adversity" statement, but rather I'm trying to show how my experiences caused me to learn certain things about mental health and how those contributed to my interest in law.

The last paragraph needs work, I know that much.

Also, since I'm trying to churn this thing out by Friday, I will have a new draft posted here each day until then. Definitely not the best practice, but I've been working on this thing since the beginning of October, anyway.


My high school classmates and I buried xxx last September. xxx was a remarkable kid whose kindness, smiles, and intelligence impressed the entire community. I saw many similarities between the two of us: we had both been raised in Irish-Catholic, middle-class families and grown up rural areas. We both enjoyed singing and we performed in several plays together. We learned from his parents that xxx had committed suicide. He fought a losing battle to crippling depression throughout high school and college while keeping it a secret from his friends. I realized xxx and I were similar in that we hid ourselves. He hid his mental illness. I hid my neurological disorder.

In seventh grade my doctor diagnosed me with Tourette’s Syndrome. I was young, but I realized what problems my uncontrollable tics could give me. Kids at my school were not kind towards “retards.” They watched videos of people spewing streams of profanity in public and would show envy. In fifth grade, they cornered a student with Asperger’s in the locker room and pelted him with soap. Despite the huge differences between the various neurological and mental disorders, my classmates would ostracize me if I told them about Tourette’s, so I kept quiet.

My family tried desperately to combat my disorder. Along with taking no fewer than two antidepressants at maximum dose, I was put through a zero-carb dieting regimen and hypnosis therapy. The medications made me gain weight and fall asleep in class, while my tics were as bad as ever. I could only control myself when I performed on stage. Confronting an audience calmed my nerves, so I took advantage of every choral group, band ensemble, and stage show.

In college, the medication took a severe toll. I slept at least sixteen hours a day and gained thirty pounds. I was so embarrassed by the tics, excess sleep, and weight gain that I would hide in my dorm room when I didn’t have class. However, I soon met xxx. She had Trichotillomania, a compulsive hair-pulling disorder. She hid the condition by wearing a hat day and night. Her patchy hair caused her so much anxiety that she would often cut her wrists. We told each other our secrets, and we immediately became best friends. We began to use each other as catharsis for our disorders. I lost weight, and she took off the hat and stopped harming herself. I soon decided to wean off the medication permanently.

I took journalism classes and used the news to replace theater. Interviewing people or reciting news on the air gave me the same control as the stage did. As I fell into my reporting duties, I was drawn to the stories of the underrepresented. I learned how coverage of drugs in the 1980s influenced public opinion of crack cocaine and how subsequent changes in drug law were biased against urban, black males nationwide. While interning with CNN, I covered the sex trafficking beat, seeing first-hand how the media’s coverage of Manhattan prostitution and human trafficking laws make it difficult for sex slaves to seek justice.

Because I took these stories, I began to see how people with neurological or mental conditions were being silenced every day. The suicide nets put up along bridges in town became the butt of jokes; students killed themselves not because of a serious disorder, but because “their school sucks.” Several patients from the local psychiatric facilities fell into skirmishes with the cops, oftentimes being shot to death because the officers did not know proper protocol for mental patients. I would work with many of these people at my school’s dining hall, and I would regularly hear students talk about how they were afraid of the “thugs” working in the dish rooms.

As I sat at xxx’s funeral, I realized my shame I felt came from a much larger problem. The ostracization I felt from my Tourette’s, that xxx felt from her Trich, that xxx felt from his depression, came from a society that is only now beginning to fathom the diversity and severity of mental and neurological conditions. Because of this, not only does our society continue to look down upon us; the law itself is still stacked against these common disorders. I am motivated to enter law school for this very reason. After living my life in fear of becoming an outcast and learning how mental and neurological patients are marginalized, the law needs people from this background who can fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.

NoDayButToday
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Re: PS 2.0 Draft 2

Postby NoDayButToday » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:55 am

.
Last edited by NoDayButToday on Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

xmbeckham
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Re: PS 2.0 Draft 2

Postby xmbeckham » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:46 am

First, a moving story. I really admire your courage and determination. If I were you, I wouldn't make through all these adversities.

Speaking of the PS per se, it's not very clear to me how you made the connection between the need for a society that is generous and tolerant to people with mental disorders and your decision to practice law. Is the not-so-friendly environment due to certain limitations in law/legislation? Have you ever sought to have yourself advocated and failed?

Besides the descriptions of your symptoms, you can also tell us how your classmates and people who knew you reacted when they (if they did) witnessed you tic, gaining weight, locking yourself up etc. That'll make your story more relevant and coherent.

Hope my suggestions help. BTW, my PS is under construction, and can I PM you when it's ready so that you can critique it?

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patfeeney
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Re: PS 2.0 Draft 2

Postby patfeeney » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:51 am

NoDayButToday wrote:Your story is very compelling and generally well-written, but I would agree that it's not quite ready.

First off, I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.

As far as editing goes, a few of your phrases jump out at me as red flags.

-"retards": I think that by using this word, you are implying that students at your school referred to anyone who was mentally different as "retarded?" If this is your meaning, I'm not sure that's clear. If that's not what you intend, well...you can see how it can be misconstrued. If you're going to use a word that could potentially offend some people, I would establish the context for it.

-What do you mean by "they watched videos...and would show envy?" Envy about what?

-In the second to last paragraph, "their school sucks." I assume there's a reason why this is in quotes...I think the language is a bit too edgy for the tone of your paper, though. If you're implying that the media is blaming the schools for the student suicides, I would state it a little more plainly. In the sentence before that, for whom are the suicide nets becoming the butt of jokes?

-What do you mean by the "thugs" working in the dish rooms? Who are the thugs? Cops? Mental health patients? This is unclear.

Overall, as I said, it's a compelling story and it's great that it speaks to your interest in attending law school. I think admissions officers want to see that more than they sometimes say.

I guess in terms of major issues, I'm not sure I see the immediate connection between your hidden neurological disorder and your friend's hidden depression. I think you come to that at the end, bringing both of you under the umbrella of discriminated-against-because-of-a-mental-health-issue, but the similarity did not strike me immediately.

Great start!


Thanks for the advice.

What I was trying to go for with the quotes was show some of the language people I know have used to classify mental issues. I know a lot of people who would call a person with Tourette's a "retard." "Thugs" was also supposed to represent that.
Of course, I realize that this language, without better context, comes off absolutely abrasive and kind of shakes the tone of the rest of it. I'll see if I can get my point across without resorting to harsh words.

Hopefully I can have some changes done soon.

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patfeeney
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Re: PS 2.0 Draft 2

Postby patfeeney » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:48 pm

xmbeckham wrote:First, a moving story. I really admire your courage and determination. If I were you, I wouldn't make through all these adversities.

Speaking of the PS per se, it's not very clear to me how you made the connection between the need for a society that is generous and tolerant to people with mental disorders and your decision to practice law. Is the not-so-friendly environment due to certain limitations in law/legislation? Have you ever sought to have yourself advocated and failed?

Besides the descriptions of your symptoms, you can also tell us how your classmates and people who knew you reacted when they (if they did) witnessed you tic, gaining weight, locking yourself up etc. That'll make your story more relevant and coherent.

Hope my suggestions help. BTW, my PS is under construction, and can I PM you when it's ready so that you can critique it?


Of course! I can tell you what I think.

Thanks again for the tips.

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patfeeney
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Re: PS 2.0 Draft 2

Postby patfeeney » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:52 pm

Another draft. I had to change out a part because I couldn't find specific evidence that it had happened online, even though I was sure it had happened.

My high school classmates and I buried [] last September. [] was a remarkable kid whose kindness, smiles, and intelligence impressed the entire community. I saw many similarities between the two of us: we had been raised in Irish-Catholic, middle-class families and grown up rural areas. We enjoyed singing and we performed in several plays together. At the funeral, I learned that [] had committed suicide. He fought a losing battle with depression throughout high school and college but kept it from his friends. I realized [] and I both hid something. He hid his mental illness out of shame. I hid my neurological disorder out of shame.

In seventh grade I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. I was young, but I realized what problems the tics could give me. Kids at my school saw all conditions, regardless of severity, as punchlines. They watched videos of people spewing profanity in public, a form of Tourette’s, and laughed at their suffering. They cornered a student with Asperger’s in a locker room and pelted him with soap. I knew I would become I target if I told anyone about the tics, but no one would care if they didn’t know I had a condition. I told no one.

My family, meanwhile, desperately fought my disorder. Along with taking no fewer than two antidepressants at maximum dose, I went through a zero-carb dieting regimen and hypnosis therapy. The medications made me gain weight and fall asleep in class, while my tics were as bad as ever. I could only control my body when I performed on stage. Confronting an audience calmed my nerves, so I took advantage of every choral group, band ensemble, and stage show.

In college, the medication took a severe toll. I slept at least sixteen hours a day and gained thirty pounds. I was so embarrassed by the tics, excess sleep, and weight gain that I would hide in my dorm room when I didn’t have class. I quickly drifted away from the group I had joined at the beginning of the year. However, I soon met [/]. She had Trichotillomania, a compulsive hair-pulling disorder. She hid her patchy hair by constantly wearing a hat. It caused her so much anxiety that she would cut her wrists. We told each other our secrets, and we immediately became best friends. We began to use each other as catharsis for our disorders. I lost weight, and she took off the hat and stopped harming herself. I soon decided to wean off the medication permanently.

I took journalism classes and used the news to replace theater. Interviewing people or reciting news on the air gave me the same control as the stage did. As I fell into my reporting duties, I was drawn to the stories of the underrepresented. I learned how coverage of drugs in the 1980s influenced public opinion of crack cocaine and how subsequent changes in drug law were biased against urban, black males nationwide. While interning with CNN, I covered the sex trafficking beat, seeing first-hand how the media’s coverage of Manhattan prostitution and human trafficking laws make it difficult for sex slaves to seek justice.

Because I took these stories, I began to see how people with neurological or mental conditions were being silenced every day. The suicide nets put up along bridges at a nearby college became the butt of jokes about how bad the school was. I worked with patients from the local mental facility at my school’s dining hall, and I would regularly hear students call them “thugs” and avoid them. When I covered stories about gun control, I saw how the controversial NY SAFE act put restrictions on the purchase of weapons by psychiatric patients according to the discretion of their doctors, while the issue of improving mental health care was ignored.

As I sat at []'s funeral, I realized my shame came from a larger problem. The ostracization I felt from my Tourette’s, that [/] felt from her Trich, that [] felt from his depression, came from a society that is only now recognizing the diversity and severity of mental and neurological conditions. Because of this, our communities and our laws are still stacked against so many people suffering from common disorders. I am motivated to enter law school for this very reason. After living my life in fear and recognizing how patients are marginalized, I believe the legal profession needs people from this background who can fight for the rights of patients.

NoDayButToday
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Re: PS 2.0 Draft 2

Postby NoDayButToday » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:35 am

.
Last edited by NoDayButToday on Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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patfeeney
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Re: PS 2.0 Draft 2

Postby patfeeney » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:14 pm

Another draft, with some very minor changes. I might submit it tomorrow, depending.

My high school classmates and I buried [] last September. [] was a remarkable kid whose kindness, smiles, and intelligence impressed the entire community. I saw many similarities between us: we were raised in Irish-Catholic, middle-class families and grew up in rural areas. We enjoyed singing and performing. At the funeral, I learned that [] committed suicide. He fought a losing battle with depression during high school and college but kept it from his friends. I realized [] and I both hid something. He hid his mental illness out of shame. For the same reason, I hid my neurological disorder.

In seventh grade I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. I was young, but I knew the problems the tics could give me. Kids at my school saw all conditions, regardless of severity, as punchlines. They watched videos of people spewing profanity in public, a form of Tourette’s, and laughed at their suffering. They cornered a student with Asperger’s in a locker room and pelted him with soap. I knew I would become a target if I told anyone about the tics, but no one would care if they didn’t think it was a condition. I told no one.

My family, meanwhile, desperately fought my disorder. Besides taking no fewer than two antidepressants at maximum dose, I went through a zero-carb dieting regimen and hypnosis therapy. The medications made me gain weight and fall asleep in class but did nothing to quell the tics. I could only control my body when I performed on stage. Confronting an audience calmed my nerves, so I took advantage of every choral group, band ensemble, and stage show.

In college, the medication took a severe toll. I slept at least sixteen hours a day and gained thirty pounds. I was so embarrassed by the tics, excess sleep, and weight gain that I hid in my dorm room between classes. I quickly drifted away from the group I had joined at the beginning of the year. However, I soon met [/]. She had Trichotillomania, a compulsive hair-pulling disorder. She wore a hat to hide her patchy hair. It caused her so much anxiety that she would cut her wrists. We told each other our secrets, and we immediately became best friends. We began to use each other as catharsis for our disorders. We improved. She took off the hat and stopped cutting. I lost weight and soon decided to wean off the medication permanently.

I took journalism classes and used the news to replace theater. Interviewing people or speaking on the air gave me the same control as the stage did. As I fell into my reporting duties, I was drawn to the stories of the underrepresented. I learned how coverage of drugs in the 1980s influenced public opinion of crack cocaine and how subsequent changes in drug law were biased against urban, black males nationwide. While interning with CNN, I covered the sex trafficking beat, seeing first-hand how the media’s coverage of Manhattan prostitution and human trafficking laws make it difficult for sex slaves to seek justice.

While I explored these stories, I began to see how people with neurological or mental conditions are silenced every day. The suicide nets hung from bridges at a nearby college became the butt of jokes about how bad the school was. I worked with patients from the local mental facility at my school’s dining hall, and I would regularly hear students call them “thugs” and avoid them. When I covered gun control news, I saw how the controversial NY SAFE act put restrictions on purchases by psychiatric patients according to the discretion of their doctors, while the issue of improving mental health care was ignored.

Sitting at []’s funeral, I realized our shame is put on us. The exclusion I felt from Tourette’s, that [/] felt from Trich, that [] felt from depression, comes not from the condition, but from a society that is only now recognizing the diversity and severity of mental and neurological conditions. Because of this, our communities and our laws are still stacked against so many people. I am motivated to enter the legal profession for this very reason. After living my life in fear and recognizing how patients are marginalized, I believe the law needs people who know how to fight for these silenced.

lawschool2014hopeful
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Re: PS 2.0 Draft 2

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:32 pm

This is quite good.

However I feel perhaps you have written bit too much, some of it felt going by very fast.

It just doesnt feel emotionally compelling because the speed of progression in your stories. For example I did feel the meeting with your best friend could be elaborated upon, using each other then magically improving felt bit fast.

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patfeeney
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Re: PS 2.0 Draft 2

Postby patfeeney » Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:41 pm

jimmierock wrote:This is quite good.

However I feel perhaps you have written bit too much, some of it felt going by very fast.

It just doesnt feel emotionally compelling because the speed of progression in your stories. For example I did feel the meeting with your best friend could be elaborated upon, using each other then magically improving felt bit fast.


I'll try to fix that tonight, but I'm definitely sending it in tomorrow night.

[Edit] Draft 5:

My high school classmates and I buried [] last September. [] was a remarkable kid whose kindness, smiles, and intelligence impressed the entire community. I saw many similarities between us: we were children of Irish-Catholic, middle-class families from rural towns. We enjoyed singing and performing. At the funeral, I learned that [] committed suicide. He kept his long, losing battle with depression a secret from most of his friends. I realized [] and I both hid something. He hid his mental illness out of shame. For the same reason, I hid my neurological disorder.

In seventh grade I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. I was young, but I knew that the kids at my school saw all conditions, regardless of severity, as punchlines. They watched videos of people spewing profanity in public, a form of Tourette’s, and laughed at their suffering. They cornered a student with Asperger’s in a locker room and pelted him with soap. I knew I would become a target if I told anyone about the tics, but no one would care if they didn’t think it was a condition. I told no one.

My family, meanwhile, desperately fought my disorder. I took no fewer than two antidepressants at maximum dose. We tried zero-carb diets and hypnosis therapy. The medications made me gain weight and fall asleep in class but did nothing to quell the tics. I found I could only control my body when performing. Confronting an audience calmed my nerves, so I took advantage of every music ensemble and stage show.

In college, the medication took a severe toll. I slept at least sixteen hours a day and gained thirty pounds. I was so embarrassed by the tics, excess sleep, and weight gain that I hid in my dorm room between classes. I quickly drifted away from the group I had joined at the beginning of the year and spent most of my first semester alone.

However, I soon met [/]. She had Trichotillomania, a compulsive hair-pulling disorder. She wore a hat to hide her patchy hair, which cause so much anxiety that she would cut her wrists. We told each other our secrets, and we immediately became best friends. We had a mutual understanding we never felt before, which we used as catharsis for our disorders. Soon, [/] took off the hat and stopped cutting. I lost weight and decided to end my prescriptions. We still have these problems, but together we’re able to manage them.

I studied journalism and replaced theater with the news. Interviews and live broadcasts gave me the same control as the stage did. As I became more involved, I was drawn to the stories of the underrepresented. I learned how coverage of drugs in the 1980s influenced public opinion of crack cocaine and how subsequent changes in drug law were biased against urban, black males. While interning with CNN, I covered sex trafficking and saw first-hand how media coverage of prostitution and trafficking laws impede justice for sex slaves.

While I explored these stories, I began to see how people with neurological or mental conditions are silenced every day. The suicide nets hung from bridges at a nearby college became the butt of jokes about how bad the school was. I worked with local psychiatric patients at my school’s dining hall, and I would regularly hear students call them “thugs” and avoid them. When I covered gun control news, I saw how the NY SAFE act put restrictions on purchases by psychiatric patients as prescribed by their doctors, while the issue of improving mental health care was ignored.

Sitting at []’s funeral, I realized our shame is put on us. The exclusion [], [/], and I felt, comes not from our conditions, but from a society that is only beginning to recognize the diversity of mental and neurological conditions. Because of this, our communities and laws are still stacked against so many people. I am motivated to enter the legal profession for this reason. After living my life in fear and recognizing how patients are marginalized, I believe the law needs people who know how to fight for these silenced.

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patfeeney
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Re: PS 2.0 Draft 2

Postby patfeeney » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:52 pm

Officially sending it in tonight.

Speak now, or forever hold your peace. :P :lol:

[EDIT] Sending in now. Thanks for everything. xmbeckham, I await your draft.




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